The Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI) has published a new report highlighting how Islamic finance and artificial intelligence can enhance financial inclusion.
Entitled “Artificial Intelligence and Islamic Finance: A Catalyst for Financial Inclusion”, the report provides a comprehensive Islamic finance framework for financial inclusion, identifies the major challenges hindering the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), and recommends solutions to leverage Islamic finance using AI to enhance financial inclusion.
The report recommends a holistic solution for financing small and medium enterprises with two pillars that provide easy access to capital more efficiently.
The first pillar is forming a sustainable and inclusive framework consisting of a staggered approach that maps the need for microentrepreneurs at different business development levels to achieve financial inclusion. The proposed Islamic finance framework has the potential to build an inclusive national-level framework for access to finance, enabling all segments of society without increasing indebtedness.
The second pillar is developing a financial infrastructure that recognizes access to capital as a need of the economy. A resilient infrastructure helps with better and efficient delivery of financial services. The infrastructure in this context is built on both physical and intellectual capabilities.
Financial technology’s intellectual contribution may include better storage, speedy analysis and use of alternative data and application of AI for decision making.
The financial pillar aims to capture, store, and make available all possible touchpoints necessary to reduce information asymmetry and increase access to capital.
Digital infrastructure is the most critical element of the overall financial infrastructure, especially as data inclusion leads to financial inclusion.
In his remarks on the release of the report, IsDBI Acting Director General and IsDB Group Chief Economist, Dr. Sami Al-Suwailem, stated that the report is timely coming when the COVID-19 pandemic is causing serious economic disruptions worldwide.
He said, “The report’s central message is that Islamic finance, built on a foundation of social and economic justice, when leveraged with AI and related technologies, can be a major driver for sustainable development through inclusive participation and risk-sharing.”
The report is available for download here: https://bit.ly/3x6vDfr
Ecobank $350M Bond Was Three Times Oversubscribed By Investors
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, the parent company of the Ecobank Group, says it has successfully raised $350m Tier 2 Sustainability Notes.
ETI said in a statement on Friday that the bond was more than three times oversubscribed by investors.
“This represents the first-ever Tier 2 Sustainability Notes by a financial institution in Sub-Saharan Africa,” it said.
According to the statement, the Tier 2 issuance is the first to have a Basel III-compliant 10NC5 structure outside of South Africa in 144A/RegS format and will be listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
It said, “The bond, which matures in June 2031, has a call option in June 2026 and was issued with a coupon of 8.75 percent with interest payable semi-annually in arrears.
“An equivalent amount of the net proceeds from the notes will be used by ETI to finance or re-finance, new or existing eligible assets as described in ETI’s Sustainable Finance Framework.”
ETI said investor interest for this sophomore Eurobond issue was global, including United Kingdom, United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa, achieving a 3.6x oversubscribed order book, of over $1.3bn at its peak.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of ETI, Ade Ayeyemi, said, “This is a landmark issue for Ecobank, and indeed the success of this first Sustainable Tier 2 issuance is testament to our clear strategy, solid positioning across the pan-African banking space as well as our deliberate and long-term focus on sustainable initiatives.
“We are particularly pleased with the diverse order book which reflects the confidence investors have in Ecobank to deliver on our commitment to sustainable financing.”
Wema Bank To Rewards ALAT Users for Referrals
According to the statement released by the Wema Bank, titled “Wema Bank Rewards ALAT Users for Referrals throughout 2021”. The Bank said that ALAT users nationwide with active accounts who have done at least three transactions in the last six months and also referred other users will be rewarded with cash prizes.
The statement reads; “At the beginning of this year, ALAT launched its earn on the go campaign, allowing members of its Trybe to not only earn money on the app but also stand a chance to win one of the three grand prizes at the end of the year.
“For the duration of this campaign, all ALAT users with an active account, who have carried out at least 3 transactions in the last 6 months will be given a unique referral code.
“This code is used to track the number of referrals made from a single account, whereby a customer receives one thousand Naira for every successful invitation to join the ALAT Trybe.
“While referrals are ongoing, we will be tracking all our users’ progress and by December reward the top three referrers with prizes worth over seven hundred thousand Naira.
“The first-place winner will receive the grand prize worth N350,000, while the second place and first runner up, will get a prize worth N200,000.00, and finally in the user that makes it to third place will be giving a prize worth N150,000.00.
“To reward the efforts of all participating users, a quarterly raffle draw will be held twice in the year, where twenty people from the list of top hundred referrers will stand a chance to win Ten thousand Naira each”.
Alat by Wema was founded in 2018 and is the first fully Digital Bank in Nigeria, providing banking services through our Andriod, iOS, and Web apps to over a hundred thousand users in Nigeria.
Unity Bank Forecasts N380.815 Million Profit for Q3 2021
Unity Bank Plc on Friday predicted profit after tax of N380.815 million for the third quarter (Q3) ending September 30, 2021.
This represents a decrease of N162.3 million year-on-year when compared to the N543.14 million recorded in the same quarter of 2020.
The lender projected gross earnings of N10.890 billion for the quarter while interest income was expected to hit N7.204 billion.
Interest expense was estimated at N5.351 billion for the period. Unity Bank puts net revenue from funds at N1.853 billion in Q3 2021.
Other incomes were expected at N3.686 billion and impairment for credit loss was projected at N885.663 million in the quarter under review.
The bank forecasts net operating income at N4.653 billion and puts operating expenses at N4.237 billion.
Profit before tax was projected to hit N416.191 million in the quarter, below the N590.4 million achieved in the same quarter of 2020.
Unity Bank’s Cashflow Projections for the Third Quarter Ending September 30, 2021 (₦)
Net cash provided by operating activities 1,720,815,055
Net cash flow provided by/(used) in investing activities (260,034,996,531)
Net cash flow from operating and investing activities (258,314,181,476)
Net cash used in financing activities 258,694,996,531
Net increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents 380,815,055
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period 107,494,314,017
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period 107,875,129,072
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